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ABRSM Making Music 2021 published

8 months ago


The report, published 29 November 2021, shows that a seismic shift in music learning has taken place, marking a golden opportunity to support more people to learn music.

Learning, Playing and Teaching in the UK: ABRSM Making Music 2021 shows that 86% children and 43% of adults are actively making music but highlights a transformation in the UK’s music learning landscape, with many learners now using tablets and phones and a third of young people making music on their own and as many as 64% of children using digital resources.

It shows how teachers’ habits have changed too, with 90% shifting to online lessons within weeks of lockdown (and also now using digital technology) but highlights broader challenges for organisations across music education in the UK, with 15% fewer children playing musical instruments than in 2014, 11% fewer children taking instrument lessons and a need to help learners progress once they have started learning.

ABRSM Making Music 2021 highlights opportunities to address these fundamental issues around access to music learning and progression by recognising learner preferences, giving learners more personalised support and bringing schools, private music teachers and community music organisations together to encourage learners to keep learning.

ABRSM Chief Executive Chris Cobb said: “ABRSM Making Music 2021 shows how an incredible 86% of children are actively making music today but we cannot ignore the very clear challenges which the latest report also sets out.

“It is down to all of us in the sector to now build on this enthusiasm for music, and the tangible energy and optimism across many areas of music education right now, to meet the needs of today’s learners – whether they want to learn in classroom, in a community hall or alone at home.

“The reason is simple. Music is about joy, about making connections.  Learning to play and sing helps us flourish as individuals and as part of society. Quality, personalised support for learners, wherever they are on their journey, will help to keep them excited, enthused and wanting to progress.

“We must work together as a music education sector to reflect this and, even as we all facing rising costs, find ways to overcome the fundamental and deep-seated barriers that stop people accessing music learning in the first place.”

The report is available to download here

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